Spring is Here; Time to Market!
The spring season snuck up on Midwestern contractors this year. At this point the 2012 marketing season has been in full swing for at least an extra month. The big driver for this season’s high volume and early bidding has been my customers customers. Homeowners, property managers and business owners are calling landscapers and paving contractors and asking for quotes earlier than usual, which is causing my customers to feel the crunch.
So, this got me thinking. My job is to help contractors eliminate inefficiencies during sales and estimating process. How can I help contractors make the most of this bidding season? How can I help them continue to market to the customers that they can win the most business from?
First, let’s take a look at what is required to fulfill a bid request:
- Quick response to requests for quotes– It seems that clients are impressed with contractors when they can respond quickly to the bid request.
- Accurate job assessments– Getting accurate property measurements to base your estimate off of not only helps you estimate material costs, labor etc., it shows the customer you are credible. You used facts to arrive at your estimate, not a guess.
- A competitive edge when you present your proposal– Accurate measurements and a property photo to add some panache to the estimate will put you head and shoulders above the rest.
- A lasting impression that starts before you win the work– If you can leave a lasting impression you win. Hands down.
Easier said than done, right? Not really… I have witnessed this time and time again: Companies that create a system for estimating instead of the send out whoever I can when I can system, will achieve all four items mentioned above- and then some.
Businesses have to take on new clients if they expect to grow their sales. Let‘s make it an all year effort, not something you do in the spring. Identify who your potential clients are, where their properties are located and what services you can offer them. Now, let’s get them measured and present the proposals (whether they are calling with a bid request or not).
Here is how you can use Go iLawn to execute these items:
- Staff the Go iLawn measuring system year-round.
- Don’t wait for the phone to ring to measure a property, front load your database to make the phone bank more productive during the peak season.
- You can do this by identifying the top zip codes, neighborhoods and commercial properties you would like to service.
- Have someone measure these target properties for 4 to 8 hours per day, or set the standard to measure 10, 20, 30 etc. properties daily.
- Verify that the data is captured completely and properly according to your procedures (this data is now a company asset).
- Make sure you use the Go iLawn features to your benefit: Measuring tools, parcel searches, alternative views, the measurement grouping feature, and the opportunity to save photos as site maps for larger projects.
- Save your Go iLawn spreadsheet and property photos to job files by neighborhood and zip code. It helps if you can store these in a central location for anyone to access if needed (sales people, administrators etc.).